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Supreme Court guts campaingn finance reform

Truthout - In a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that portends massive changes in campaign finance, corporations will no longer be banned from spending money on presidential or Congressional elections.

The conservative wing of the court, with Anthony Kennedy joining, overruled two long-held precedents in reaching the decision, which said that corporations have the same right to use their own money to fund campaign ads as individuals do.

Kennedy, in his opinion for the majority, wrote that "the Government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether."

The ruling also overturned a segment of the McCain-Feingold Act, which bans the broadcast of ads that mention a candidate for federal office 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary or caucus.

Justice John Paul Stevens, speaking for the court’s liberal wing, including Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer, read part of his dissent out loud in the courtroom.

In his dissent, he wrote, "although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it." Read more.

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